Slack integrates Office 365 tools into its platform

Access files, email and calendar notifications directly from Slack.

A lot of companies (Engadget included) rely on Slack to get things done, and in recent times the "MSN Messenger for the workplace" has integrated a whole bunch of apps into its platform, including Dropbox, Zoom and G Suite, to make workflow smoother. Now it's adding Office 365 tools to the mix.

From today, you'll be able to access Office 365 files, email and calendar right within the Slack browser, so you needn't go bouncing between tabs as you check off your to-do list. The Outlook Calendar app for Slack will message you as soon as you're invited to an event, where you can respond with a click, and be informed of any scheduling conflicts. If the event involves a call, you can jump right into it from the Slack notification, and the app will automatically set your Slack status to "in a meeting" based on your Outlook calendar.

Next up, email. The big sell here is the ability to pull emails out of siloed inboxes and into Slack channels where you can collaborate with teammates. Forward the message directly to a Slack channel or to a contact via direct message, and start discussing the issue at hand straight away -- no more long and confusing email chains.

Finally, Slack has brought about some updates to the OneDrive app. Now, instead of spinning up a new email chain just to share a OneDrive file, you can click the + icon that's next to where you write messages. Then select OneDrive and choose the file you'd like to share. When the file is added to a channel or direct message, members can discuss it in a thread, with the full context, and its content is automatically indexed and searchable.

Additionally -- and while this isn't an app, per se -- Slack has also added the ability to scroll through full PowerPoint presentations, Excel worksheets and Word files without having to download the whole document. This means you can review a deck from your phone before a presentation, or scan through a document while simultaneously chatting in channels -- a small tweak that could have a big impact on productivity. Slack says it's hoping to eventually bring similar functionality to OneDrive files, too.